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Comment Re:Tough Question (Score 1) 548

Private schools, however, can be selective about their admissions in a way that public schools cannot, taking students that are better prepared to begin with, or have a better support system outside of school to augment their in-school learning. It's far from clear that they achieve better results with lower costs once you control for that factor.

The parent poster's point, I believe, was that public schools, and public roads, are a socialized function in order to achieve universality. There are economic and social benefits to an educated population, and to improved flow of labor and commerce, which accrue to everyone to some degree.

Whether that same universality is a desirable thing for health care is currently a matter of debate. Personally, I think it is, but I don't have it in me to argue the point at this time of night.


Submission + - user-submitted guitar tabs == infringement?

hudster writes: The site has apparently been threatened by legal action due to allegations of copyright infringement. Currently, when attempting to view any of the guitar tabs on the site, the following message is displayed (see example here):

Dear All Good Tabs vistors, All Good Tabs has been threatened with legal action by the National Music Publishers Association and the Music Publishers Association of America. The basis of their position is that by publishing the tabs transcribed by you hard working musicians, we are constituting copyright infringement. We completely disagree with this and are currently investigating our legal options. Click here for an explanation of the publishing company's position, and contact details for you to express your opinions on this matter to them.

Submission + - Broadcasting Television

JakobSke writes: "I am currently living in Sweden working for a small local TV Station. At the moment, we are so low-tech, that we use a DVD player set to continous repeat to air our broadcast. What this means is that I have no control over WHEN programs are airing, and have no means to update the content aired without disconnecting the entire broadcast and starting it over with the new content embedded into the single DVD. What I need is a program that will automate different video files to play at certain, predetermined time, and have the ability to update the playlist during playback. Does such a program even exist? I have done the reasearch, but there does not seem to be any viable solutions for low-budget stations. I have no wish to spend upwards of 10,000 US dollars for a pre-packaged broadcasting system that could just as easily be obtained with a standard PC (with video card) and clever software solutions."
The Media

Submission + - Trademark trials: Leo Stoller's terrible 2006

jokestress writes: "Remember Leo Stoller? He's the "intellectual property entrepreneur" who threatened to sue anyone who allegedly infringed his "famous trademarks," especially the word "stealth." Since the last /. article on Stoller, Leo hasn't had the best time of it, so here's a recap of his illustrious career, culminating with a $969,000 judgment against him last month:
  • Charged and fined in illegal fund solicitations for 9/11 victims (charities he listed said they never got any money).
  • Lost a trademark case where he claimed software maker Centra 2000(TM) infringed his "Sentra" trademark. Stoller filed corporate bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying after losing.
  • Got a smackdown from Columbia Pictures after threatening to sue them over the title of their film Stealth.
  • Sued Hall-of-Famer George Brett for selling a Stealth(TM) brand baseball bat. The judge found for Brett's company and cancelled Stoller's trademark registration in that category.
  • In 2006, the US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sanctioned Stoller for filing 1,100 extension requests in 5 months for trademarks he was opposing. He can't file any more for two years.
  • The real legal beatdown came at the hands of Pure Fishing, Inc., maker of Spiderwire® Stealth(TM) and other Stealth(TM) brand fishing gear. Stoller went after them and they fought back. Hard.
  • Before a final judgment could be entered, Stoller again declared bankruptcy under Chapter 13, which had an automatic stay on all litigation. Pure Fishing filed a claim in the case and requested the corporate bankruptcy be converted from reorganization to Chapter 7 (liquidation of all Stoller's assets, corporate and personal).
  • The bankruptcy judge found that Stoller's Chapter 13 filing contained bogus information and unreported assets, so he not only approved the liquidation, but found that Stoller's personal assets and corporate assets were one and the same.
  • The trustee appointed to liquidate Stoller's assets was granted additional authority to act as sole shareholder of Stoller's many corporate entities, and he promptly began settling all outstanding trademark litigation, including Stoller's claim that he owned the trademark "Google" for a brand of exercise balls.
  • The court cancelled 44 of Stoller's existing and pending "Stealth" trademarks on October 4.
  • On December 12, the court awarded Pure Fishing over $969,000, affirming the statement that Stoller and companies were vexatious litigants.
Pure Fishing's legal team put up a page with key legal documents for those who want to see how this all played out. The document that gives in-depth analysis of Stoller's modus operandi is Judge Jack B. Schmetterer's thoroughly-researched findings and conclusions in the Stoller bankruptcy decision.

Stay tuned for more Leo Stoller(TM) Adventures® in © 2007!"

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